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Many Older Americans With Heart Failure Take 10 or More Meds

When older people hospitalized for heart failure are sent home, they are often given a whopping 10 medications to take for a variety of conditions. But is this "polypharmacy" practice necessary, or does it just place a bigger burden on already frail patients?

It's not a question so much of the quantity of the medications, but whether the medications patients are taking are the right ...

Older Patients at Risk When Dentists Prescribe Opioids

Seniors who take depression and anxiety drugs shouldn't be prescribed opioid painkillers by their dentist because it puts them at increased risk for problems, researchers warn.

They analyzed 2011-15 dental and medical data for 40,800 patients aged 65 and older across the United States. There were 947 emergency room visits and hospitalizations in the 30 days after a dental visit.

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Potential COVID-19 Drug Could Increase Heart Risk: Study

The widely prescribed antibiotic azithromycin is being investigated as a COVID-19 treatment, but a new study warns it could increase the risk of heart problems.

Researchers analyzed data from millions of patients (average age: 36) in the United States and found that azithromycin by itself isn't associated with an increase in heart problems.

But the risk increases if it is ta...

Dangerous Abuse of Anxiety Drug Phenibut Is on the Rise

A growing number of Americans may be having serious reactions after taking phenibut -- an unapproved anxiety drug sold in some dietary supplements.

That's the finding of a new study looking at calls to U.S. poison control centers. The numbers are not huge: Between 2009 and 2019, there were 1,320 calls related to phenibut.

But there was a sharp rise beginning in 2015, researc...

In Rare Cases, Diabetes & Cholesterol Drug Combo Could Be Toxic

Taking the statin Crestor in combination with the diabetes drug canagliflozin (Invokana) may have the potential to trigger statin toxicity, a new case report suggests.

Although this report details the problem in just one woman, the researchers noted concern because these drugs are taken by millions of people worldwide. These drugs are also increasingly prescribed together.

Many Americans Take Antibiotics Without a Prescription

No one would argue that antibiotics are an amazing 20th-century innovation, promising a quick cure for bacterial illnesses that might otherwise cause serious harm or death.

But they are not without risk, especially when taken without a doctor's supervision.

Yet a new study review suggests that's exactly what many Americans are doing: misusing "under-the-counter" or old lefto...

FDA Orders Label Warning on Alcohol Use With 'Female Viagra'

A drug touted as a "female Viagra" can cause severe low blood pressure and fainting when used with alcohol, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

As a result, the agency has ordered the drug's maker Sprout Pharmaceuticals to make a safety labeling change to Addyi (flibanserin).

The boxed warning, contraindication, warnings and precautions, and adverse reactions sectio...

Which Misused Prescription Meds Send Americans to the ER?

Most folks treated in a U.S. emergency room for misuse of prescription medications get into trouble because they mix different substances, a new study reports.

Benzodiazepines like Xanax (alprazolam) and Ativan (lorazepam) are most commonly implicated in health crises that lead to an ER visit, followed by prescription opioids, researchers found.

But in most cases, the patien...

As U.S. Kids Take More Meds, Dangerous Drug Mixes Could Rise

Everyone worries about drug abuse among children, but a hidden danger for some kids rests in prescription medicines intended to help them, a new study warns.

Some children and teenagers who are prescribed multiple medications are at risk of drug interactions that could literally stop their heart, according to the report.

"We found that about 1 in 12 kids using two or more me...